Translating spontefaction into EAB terms

[From Chris Cherpas (960202.0942 PT)]
    [Re: > RIck Marken (960201.1900)]


How, then, do EABers talk about
the phenomenon that we now call
"spontefaction"? What do _they_ call it?

Some EABers make references to set-points, regulation, and
control theories (as mentioned by Bruce Abbott); an EABer might also
attempt to "translate" spontefaction in the following way:

    An EO ("establishing operation") in EAB is analogous to a disturbance
    (or even an error) in PCT/PST. An EO might involve a change in the level
    of food deprivation or electric shock or whatever variable around which
    operant behavior is organized. Operant behavior is the means by which
    the EO is counteracted or opposed.

    Behavior appropriate to the EO continues to be highly probable until the
    level of shock or deprivation or whatever is no longer at an "establishing"
    level. (This sounds like drive-reduction theory, so not all EABers would
    be delighted with this description of an EO. Still, I continue...)

    But not only do operants continue until the EO is more or less fully
    counteracted, behaviors which are particularly successful
    (in terms of the speed and magnitude by which behaviors change EO
    levels) are differentially reinforced: that is, some subset of the
    "spontefacting" operants will dominate over others 1) until the EO
    is completely countered in the present instance, and 2) will tend to
    dominate (probabilistically) when the same kind of EO recurs in the future.
    Note also that discriminative stimuli (stimulus conditions associated with
    particularly successful EO-opposition, more efficient spontefacting )
    define further subsets of relevant operants (aka "discriminated

    So, in a sense, if EAB had a theory of spontefaction it might be a
    statement purely relating EOs and behavior ("Behavior: The
    Control of EOs?"), but such a statement would seem incomplete to the EABer
    without mentioning that reinforcement is also operating to continuously
    refine the spontefacting process (the repertoire is continuously
    being altered).

    In PCT/PST, spontefaction, per se, involves no learning and
    how the population of actions participating in the spontefacting are
    distributed is apparently irrelevant. Learning (reorganization)
    only happens for a PCT/PST version of a spontefacting agent when,
    in EAB-like lingo, an EO persists without being successfully countered.

Regards & regrets to all,